Few NBA playoffs have started this intensely. In an era where most fans would expect a clean sweep by the Miami Heat and Oklahoma City Thunder, they couldn't be more wrong.
Every game has been hard-fought and almost all games have gone down to the wire. What makes this extremely exciting for basketball fans is that seeding means very little at this point; a #2 seed may be down against a #7 seed.
Despite recent headlines off the court regarding LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, NBA fans should still enjoy the remaining first-round games. So lets take a look at some of them shall we?
Indiana Pacers vs Atlanta Hawks
On paper, many basketball purists expected a sweep in this series. On the court, it was anything but. The Pacers - who had a terrible end to their regular season - hoped to get through this matchup and fast.
They have always wanted to get back to the Eastern Conference Finals, where they would hope to face and beat the Miami Heat. Unfortunately for the Pacers, though, the Hawks do not intend to simply act as a road bump.
It has been a battle each time these squads take the court and Indiana find themselves in a pickle trying to defend Atlanta. The Hawks - up 3-2 - do not possess a superstar, but they do have a number of three-point shooters and a couple of electric guards in Jeff Teague and Lou Williams.
My prediction: Atlanta wins 4-3
Portland Trailblazers vs Houston Rockets
If you love dynamic, fast-paced, athletic basketball then this is the series for you. It's had everything from overtime moments and big dunks to clutch three-point shots and fast, fast play on both ends.
Damian Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge have taken over this series and now the Blazers have a 3-1 lead. Toss in James Harden, Dwight Howard and Chandler Parsons and you got yourself two young and offensive focused teams. If you haven't been watching this, tune in next game for your own pleasure.
My prediction: Portland wins 4-1
Los Angeles Clippers vs Golden State Warriors
The last week has been difficult for the Clippers and the NBA to say the least, with Mr. Sterling's reported comments. But sticking with basketball, it's still a highly-contested series currently tied 2-2.
On one side, Steph Curry and the high-octane Warriors, on the other Chris Paul, Blake Griffin and the Clippers. Obviously, offense is at the forefront but I truly believe that it will go to seven games series if both teams come to play every night. Hopefully we continue to get a great series out of these teams despite off the court issues.
Prediction: Either of these teams. Tthis is the definition of a toss-up.
Other series to watch: San Antonio Spurs vs Dallas Mavericks & Oklahoma City Thunder vs Memphis Grizzlies
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